Hugh Halter’s Sacrilege: Book Review
Living in Littleton, Colorado I had the privilege of watching and hearing about the ministry of Hugh Halter, Matt Smay and the Adullam Community. To some in the Denver area, Hugh and his band of renegades were labeled as heretics, but their community was reaching those outside the church like no other church. Having read Hugh and Matt’s earlier books, Tangible Kingdom and And, I was excited to pick up Hugh’s newest book, Sacrilege.
I read most of the book during my monastery experience which made me feel a little sacrilege. In Sacrilege, Hugh explores how Jesus challenged the religious assumptions that people held and how these same assumptions hinder the church’s influence today.
Hugh writes, “In actuality, as I’ll show, de-sacredizing what should be de-sacredized is not only good, it begins to move us toward the undercurrent of the real person and Good News of Jesus. Sacrilege is about removing religion from our faith. It’s about chipping away at people’s false assumptions about who Jesus is and what following him is all about.”
This book will be a hard read for those who actually need it the most. Halter starts the book with a story that he tells often about the circumstances that led him to flip off his neighbor. Some of you based on just hearing that will write off Hugh and never pick up the book. But you are the folks who need to read this book!
Hugh portrays a Jesus who was more than willing to pick a fight with the religious leaders of his day because their religious assumptions were far from the truth. He throws out the sanitized, positive and encouraging, K-LOVE version of Jesus who would fit right into most churches in the US. This Jesus would heal someone on the Sabbath just to challenge the religious boxes that the Pharisees put him into. This is the Jesus who would rather hug the whore than hangout with Pharisees and talk about Scripture all day. This is a Jesus I can surrender my life to and follow.
I would definitely recommend this book for those who are searching for the real Jesus outside of what our Christian culture has made him out to be. For those who have given up on church, this will give you a reason to fall in love with Jesus and enter back into Christian community. As with any book, Sacrilege is better discussed and interacted with in community. Soon Hugh will be releasing small group study questions on their website.
Here’s a conversation with Hugh on Sacrilege
* I was given a complimentary copy of Sacrilege to review
Posted on April 5, 2012, in Book Reviews, Church Leadership, Dangerous Obedience and tagged book review, Hugh Halter, Incarnational Communities, Jesus, Missional Communities, Sacrilege, Tangible Kingdom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.